Rural and inland communities are harshly hit with the housing crisis, not just in metropolitan areas. The Central Valley has been widely known to reside in while living in an affordable home without a financial breakage, but that has been a challenged quota for the past few years.
In Fresno, it has become one of the newest epicenters of California's housing crisis.
Power California's Alicia Olivarez speaks about her own experiences with housing instability in Fresno: “When I was 7, my mom and I were displaced from our two-bedroom apartment in Fresno. With nowhere else to go, we bounced from shelter to shelter, feelings of shame, hopelessness, and helplessness following us wherever we went.”
“I spent most of my young life thinking something was wrong with us. The truth is that we were among millions of Californians who have lost their homes across the state, and not just in its most notoriously expensive cities.”
With urban areas such as Los Angeles and San Francisco that has given people no choice but to live in the outer regions of those major cities, the pressures to maintain reasonable rent prices in places such as Fresno have been coming to an end.
One study found that the city of Fresno endured the fastest rent growth of any major city nationwide in 2021 at 28 percent.
Fresno is one of the two major cities in the state that does not have rent control implementation, as to why rent and displacement are skyrocketing in such a short amount of time. This puts already residents at risk, as folks extremely more vulnerable due to living in smaller cities than others in California.
State housing and homelessness policies are relied on by the Fresno community more than ever. The lack of addressing of the housing crisis in the Bay Area and Southern California will further dismiss the housing crisis in the Central Valley.
Statewide protections against these rent threats and escalating displacements are more than just for the community here right now but for future generations that are adultifying here and ones that will appear in the upcoming decades. Housing should be guaranteed and sustainable and not just a possibility.
People who have been in Fresno or are finding their home in Fresno should not continue taking anymore losses that state and local leaders can prevent.